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American Airlines Using iPads in its Cockpits

In a press release Monday, American Airlines announced that it had completed the roll out of a program that replaces pilots’ 3,000 page flight kit with a single iPad. The company expects to save at least $1.2 million in fuel costs annually.

American has been working towards this goal for well over one year. Each pilot and trainer was required to carry a flight kit that held maps of each terminal the company flew to. Not only was the kit heavy, about 35 points, it was constantly being updated which meant new paper copies of the maps for each kit.

Now, thanks to a platform developed by Jeppesen, a unit of Boeing (NYSE: BA) Digital Aviation, instead of those paper maps, pilots carry an Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad. The tablet not only stores the maps, updates are pushed out simultaneously.

The company said in its press release that the new system will eliminate the use of 24 million pieces of paper–a move that is environmentally friendly and cuts down on the company administrative costs. In addition, it saves more than 400,000 gallons of fuel annually for a net savings of $1.2 million at today’s fuel prices. Finally, it will cut down on back injuries that come from carrying the heavy flight kit.

Disclaimer: At the time of this writing, the author was long Apple.

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